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Dr Yulisha Byrow

Dr. Yulisha Byrow is a Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the Refugee Trauma and Recovery Program, School of Psychology, University of New South Wales. Her current research focuses on examining the mental health and well-being of individuals with a refugee background. Specifically, she conducts research that aims to understand the impact of mental health stigma on help-seeking in refugee men and the impact of key psychological mechanisms on trajectories of risk and resilience in refugee populations.

Yulisha graduated with a PhD in Psychology from Macquarie University in 2016 and has since published 27 peer-reviewed journal articles and scholarly book chapters in the disciplines of psychology and psychiatry. She has also previously worked for the Centre for Emotional Health, Macquarie University and Academic Psychiatry, NSW Public Health. Throughout her career, she has adopted psychological experimental paradigms, randomized controlled trial designs and longitudinal research designs to examine psychological mechanisms underlying behaviour and adaptation in various clinical populations (including anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and PTSD).

Abstract – Annual Research Symposium – 28 October 2020

The Tell Your Story project: The development and implementation of an online intervention to reduce mental health stigma in refugee men

Yulisha Byrow, Amitabh Rajouria, Tadgh McMahon, Angela Nickerson

Refugees typically experience numerous traumatic events as well as distress associated with resettlement. These individuals are at an increased risk of developing psychological disorders. Thus, rates of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) are disproportionately higher in refugee samples than in the general population. Despite these elevated rates of psychopathology, levels of help-seeking for mental health difficulties are low, especially amongst refugee men. Left untreated these mental health problems constitute a major global public health challenge.

In this presentation, Dr Yulisha Byrow will discuss the impact of barriers to mental health treatment for refugee men. She will present an overview of the literature and findings from research examining the differential contributions of practical, social, and cultural (particularly mental health stigma) barriers to predicting both formal and informal help-seeking in refugee men. She will also report on the development of an online intervention (“Tell Your Story” program) targeting mental health stigma in refugee men from Arabic, Farsi and Tamil-speaking backgrounds. This online intervention comprises videos, psychoeducation and interactive activities specifically adapted for the three target cultural groups. This presentation will describe the components of the intervention, as well as the effectiveness of “Tell Your Story” in reducing mental health stigma in refugee men.

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